After I talked today about trying to save some money by conserving energy I started looking at some of my spending habits lately. I've cut out shopping for extras that we don't need right now, and that's one reason why I haven't had any new reviews to post lately. It's hard to review products when you're on a no buy.
I did, however, realize that I haven't been as frugal as I should be when it comes to my normal shopping. In the last few months I've been too busy between the little one and work to take the time to make sure I'm really doing what I can to be a smart shopper at the grocery store. I've been hitting up one store to buy everything instead of shopping around, too. I used to keep a weekly list of prices of the things I normally buy, and I'd compare weeks and stores to make sure I was buying the right items in the right places at the right time. I've been slack lately, so I just haven't been doing that.
Today I decided to be smarter about my shopping. I sat down with my receipts from the last 3 weeks, and I made a list of what I buy each week, and what the price was. I'll continue to do that until I yet again establish a pattern. I already know that it's not always best to buy an item when it's on sale because stores tend to jack up the price of the item before placing it on sale. For example, Hubby buys powdered Gatorade for work. The can he normally buys is about $14.28, but when it's on sale the "sale" price is normally $15.99 because the store raises the price then puts it on sale for a price that is still higher than the normal price. If I only bought the powder when it is on sale I'd actually spend more.
I also need to start buying most of my groceries (with the exception of meats) at Big Lots and Dollar General again. I did just that today. Our local Dollar General has a huge grocery selection because the closest grocery store is in the next town over. I stopped at Dollar General on my way to the grocery store, and I took my grocery list as well as my receipts from the last 3 grocery buys with me. I compared prices as I purchased items that I normally buy at Ingles. I purchased $41.13 worth of groceries at Dollar General, the same brands I buy or name brands that are cheaper than the store brands I buy, and when I added up the same cost for those items at the grocery store I saved $21.62 by not purchasing them at my grocery store as usual. Dollar stores and discount stores aren't just good for saving on household items. You can really save a lot buying grocery items there as well, especially on canned goods. It's even cheaper for me to buy eggs, bread, and cheese at The Dollar General.
I don't know why I let myself stop shopping like this in the first place. I think most of it has to do with the fact that I just didn't want to take the extra time to compare prices and make that one extra stop at stores that are on the way, not out of the way, of my grocery store. When I've got the little one with me it's just easier to purchase everything at once. The only downside is that I've basically been wasting much needed money by doing so.
Now that I'm back on my saving money kick it's time to start thinking about making money as well. I have a few ways that I'm going to be bringing a little bit of extra income into our home, and I want to share those with you. I don't want to bombard you with an even longer post than this already is, so keep an eye out for that post as it will be coming up next.